Eddie Lacy: Lacy suffered a bruised hip in the 4th quarter of the Falcons game and surprisingly the Packers coaching staff decided to shut Lacy down as a precaution and let backup running back James Starks close out the game; considering how quickly the Falcons were scoring in the 2nd half and the inability of the defense to really stop the pass, putting your faith in James Starks over a slightly banged up Lacy to grind out the clock is a bit of a shocker (Of course, Starks did manage to kill the clock, including a 41 yard run that basically sealed the game. This week there hasn’t been much news on Lacy other than positive, neither head coach Mike McCarthy nor Eddie Lacy himself deemed his injury all too serious and both predicted him playing against the Bills. Lacy also practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday, which is a good sign since the Packers are on a short week after playing on Monday Night Football. Expect Lacy to start and play significant time against the Bills, but might see a slight dip in carries as the Packers go for a more balanced snap count between Lacy and Starks.
Davon House: While House managed to finish the game after getting swapped with Sam Shields late in the 4th quarter of the Falcons game, apparently all is not well as House did not practice on the following Wednesday and appears to be questionable at best to play against the Bills. While the Bills don’t boast the same offensive firepower as the Falcons, the Packers haven’t gotten as much out of their defensive secondary as usual, with both Sam Shields and Micah Hyde and HaHa Clinton-Dix all turning in questionable performances against the Falcons. With it being a contract year, House stands to make a lot of money with some solid play down the stretch especially if Shields is limited again this week. At this point, House is probably a true coin flip in terms of playing against the Bills; the fact that House was able to finish the game is positive but the fact that he wasn’t able to practice at all this week and the slightly negative comments by the team point to a more severe injury; If House isn’t able to play, expect to see more of Casey Hayward or Micah Hyde as the teams 3rd/4th cornerback.
Jamari Lattimore: Lattimore suffered an ankle injury in the 2nd quarter of the Patriots while covering a return. While the camera wasn’t in an optimal position at the moment of the injury, Lattimore’s injury is likely fairly severe as he spent quite some time on the ground and was not able to leave the field under his own power and required two trainers to help him off the field. As he was being helped off the field, Lattimore was able to put a little weight on his feet, but naturally did not return. To be honest, the inside linebacker position is a little bit of a conundrum; it’s pretty hard to come up with a steady player at inside linebacker for the Packers; while Clay Matthews is perhaps the most talented of the bunch, Matthews also spends a sizable portion of the time in his old outside linebacker position. AJ Hawk has been a steady presence on the defense for many years now, but this game saw a back seat to Sam Barrington, who played below average overall but probably still better than Hawk. Even Brad Jones played 22 snaps against the Falcons, and surprise surprise, he didn’t play well. With Lattimore being the other player to not practice in any capacity on Wednesday it’s likely that the Packers will continue to keep Lattimore on the inactive list while a combination of Hawk, Barrington and even Brad Jones gets some snaps in a rotation.
Josh Sitton & TJ Lang: Lang suffered an ankle injury during the first series of the 1st quarter against the Saints while Sitton’s suffered a torn ligament in his left big toe in the same game. Sitton and Lang both appear to be dealing with injuries fairly well, both grading out well despite their injuries. Both have worked in “recovery” practice schedule of not participating on Wednesday and then practicing in a limited fashion on Thursday before their recovery day on Friday. In a positive note, Lang and Sitton both practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday, the first time that has happened since their injuries, but this might have more to do with the fact that the Packers are short a practice due to playing on Monday more than any indication of Lang’s or Sitton’s health. Expect both Sitton and Lang to start against the Bills with Lane Taylor as the top backup.
Sam Shields: Shields suffered a concussion after getting kneed or elbowed in the head by running back Brandon Bolden in the first quarter and did not return. As with all concussions in the NFL now, Shields went through the concussion protocol and passed with enough time to play against the Falcons. That might not have been the best thing in the world as Shields was the player mostly responsible for Julio Jones setting a receiving record against the Packers. During the game, it was quite apparent that Shield was not playing at 100%; I’m not entirely sure if he’s fully recovered from his concussion (he did look a little lost at times on the field) or just rusty from not practicing all week. Hopefully with a full week to prepare and practice, Shields can prove that last week was just an aberration and not effects of a concussion. When the Packers mercifully benched Shields in the 4th quarter, Davon House got the first chance to defend Julio Jones and will likely continue as the backup outside cornerback assuming he’s healthy as well.
Jarrett Bush: A mysterious groin injury sustained in the Eagles game, did not practice for two weeks before finally getting on the practice field in a limited basis on the Friday before the Patriots game. Furthermore, Bush was inactive against the Vikings and Demetri Goodson was the man called up from the inactive list and actually played pretty well on punt and kickoffs except for a penalty. Interesting against the Patriots Goodson was again inactive but Bush did not receive any snaps on defense (which is not unusual) and on special teams (which is unusual), with Tramon Williams surprisingly playing some snaps on defense, which is the first time in the year that Williams has appeared on special teams. Fast forward to the Falcons game and Bush was all-go, playing on special teams as a gunner and grading out positively on special teams. Expect Bush to “start” on special teams as usual.——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.